REVIEW: ‘The Death of Doctor Strange,’ Issue #3

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The Death of Doctor Strange #3

The Death of Doctor Strange #3 is written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Lee Garbett, colored by Antonio Fabela, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics. Following the battle with the Three Mothers, Clea Strange reveals the true intent of the Mothers’ incursion to the Avengers: they seek to feed their progeny, the Peregine Child— a being whose hunger for magical energies knows no bounds. And the Earth is its next target, as multiple magical beings have made it their stronghold— grim news that only grows grimmer when the young Doctor Strange reveals that the circumstances of his murder have left the position of Sorcerer Supreme unattended.

Although this issue is fairly light on action, it only piles on the bad news for Strange and his allies. Learning that there’s a threat greater than the Three Mothers is utterly horrifying, and to learn that the one person who could beat it is dead? Not only is this the worst day ever for Doctor Strange —but it’s also the worst day for the Earth in general. To make matters worse, Iron Man confirms that the heroes of the Marvel Universe are facing a number of magical threats, which I’m sure will be explored in upcoming one-shots.

MacKay uses the downtime to explore how the younger Strange is feeling, which leads to a pair of heartwrenching moments. The first comes at the beginning of the issue when Past Strange performs an autopsy on his own body with Jane Foster; he freely admits that if it weren’t for his magical training he would have gone mad during the procedure. The second features a talk between Clea and Past Strange, and it’s the most heartbreaking moment of the issue. Clea had a whole life with the older Strange; there was love, heartbreak, all of it. And while Past Strange doesn’t have that deep connection, he still attempts to comfort her and deal with his future self’s flaws.

On the art side of things, Garbett and Fabela pour all of their effort into the issue’s third “chapter,” titled “Invasive Surgery.” It features a dual sequence with Past Strange, Clea, and Wong breaking into the castle of Baron Mordo while the Three Mothers attack the realm of Kalumesh. Garbett places both sieges side by side, which has a disconcerting effect as both hero and villain mow down multiple enemies to pursue their goals. While Past Strange’s fury is justified, it’s no less terrifying than the Mothers laying waste to all they see. Fabela’s colors also highlight the duality of the scenes as well as the differences; Mordo’s castle is shrouded in shadow until Past Strange blows the doors open. Kalumesh, on the other hand, is a glowing green crystalline paradise that is literally shattered by the Three Mothers. And Petit’s lettering also changes color, from blue to pink to green depending on the characters and the spells they speak.

The Death of Doctor Strange #3 has moments both heartwarming and horrifying, as the Earth faces Armageddon without the Sorcerer Supreme. With two issues left, and the promise of a new Sorcerer Supreme, this story looks to be closing out in style.

The Death of Doctor Strange #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.


The Death of Doctor Strange #3
4.5

TL;DR

The Death of Doctor Strange #3 has moments both heartwarming and horrifying, as the Earth faces Armageddon without the Sorcerer Supreme. With two issues left, and the promise of a new Sorcerer Supreme, this story looks to be closing out in style.